6 Best Payroll Software for Small Business: The Complete Guide

Best HR & Payroll software

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Small businesses need the payroll software to keep their operations running smoothly. From trying to keep track of employee hours, deductions, and tax payments. It can be tough to keep track of it all, but it’s a lot easier when you have the right tools.

One of the most important tools for any small business is payroll software. This software can make managing your employees a lot easier, and it can also save you money in the long run. There are so many different software options available, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.  

That’s why it’s important to find the best payroll software for your small business. This guide will help you do just that! We’ll discuss the different types of software available, as well as the features you should look for.

What Is Payroll Software and How Does it Work?

Payroll software is computer software used to manage payroll processes and documentation. It can also automate some of these tasks, making it easier for businesses to manage their employees.

Small businesses need to manage their payroll because it is a complex and time-consuming process. In addition, businesses are required by law to withhold taxes from their employees’ paychecks and make sure that these taxes are paid to the government on time. Payroll software can help businesses with this process by keeping track of employee information, calculating payroll taxes and deductions, and issuing paychecks. Some software programs can also generate reports, which can be useful for tax purposes.  

However, it is important to know how Payroll software works. Payroll software helps businesses keep track of employee paychecks and tax information. This software makes it easier for businesses to manage their employees’ data in one place.

Reviews of the Best Payroll Software From Our Research

Gusto

Best Payroll Software With Great Features and Flexibility

If you’re looking for the best payroll software with great features and flexibility, Gusto is a great option. With Gusto, you can automatically deduct and file your payroll direct deposit, as well as hire and onboard new employees with offer letters, checklists and software setup. You’ll also have direct access to HR professionals and other resources, as well as health benefits and automatic savings through Gusto Wallet – a free employee app.

Time tracking is simple with Gusto, and you can easily manage time-off requests and PTO policies. All in all, Gusto is a comprehensive payroll solution that’s easy to use.

Features

  • Gusto’s software is designed to be straightforward and easy to use, making it a great choice for small businesses
  • The software automatically calculates and files payroll taxes so you can relax and know that your taxes are taken care of
  • It can handle onboarding and offboarding employees which helps to easily manage new hires and departures, streamlining the process for you.
  • You can access your paystubs and other tax documents online whenever you need them, making it easy to keep track of your finances
  • Gusto offers health benefits as part of its package, helping you to keep your employees healthy and happy.

Pros

  • Gusto offers great features and flexibility for payroll
  • Automatic deductions and filing, direct deposit
  • Offer letters, checklists, software setup – Gusto has it all covered
  • It allows direct access to HR professionals and other resources if you need them.

Cons

  • Gusto can be expensive for some businesses
  • The software can be difficult to use for people who are not technologically savvy.

Pricing

Gusto allows for demo account creation and offers three paid plans.

Simple: $40/mo plus $6/mo per person

Plus: $80/mo plus $12/mo per person

Premium: Contact support to get details for exclusive pricing

OnPay

Best Payroll Software for Start-ups Businesses

OnPay is a great payroll software for small businesses. It’s cloud-based and mobile-friendly, so you can run your business from anywhere. OnPay is also quick and easy to set up, so you can start using it right away. Plus, it has deep integrations with popular accounting and time tracking software, so you can avoid mistakes and repetitive tasks.

And if you have any questions, OnPay’s customer service is top-notch. They’re available weekdays by phone, chat, and email, and they even have emergency email support on weekends. So if you’re looking for the best payroll software for your small business, look no further than OnPay.

Features

  • Onpay offers cloud-based and mobile-friendly software that is quick and easy to set up
  • It offers deep integrations with popular software which makes it easy to get started
  • Customer service available weekdays
  • Onpay’s direct deposit feature eliminates the need to write checks or visit the bank.
  • Onpay offers a tax automation feature that can save you hours each month.

Pros

  • It allows payroll reporting
  • It helps for accounting integration
  • It offers automated taxes
  • OnPay supports full service payroll.

Cons

  • OnPay is not as feature rich as other payroll software options.
  • There have been complaints about customer service
  • The software can be expensive for small businesses.

Pricing

The first month and setup are free with a $40 /month base fee and  $6 /month per person.

$46/month per person after the first month and then use a slider on the website to calculate the price for the number of persons.

QuickBooks

Most Popular Payroll Software

QuickBooks is the most popular payroll software on the market. It is an all-in-one solution that offers invoicing, expenses, bank feeds, GST & VAT tracking, and receipt capture.

The invoicing and expenses features are especially helpful for staying organized and ready for tax season. The bank feeds feature also helps save time and reduce errors. QuickBooks is a great choice for small businesses looking for payroll software.

Features

  • It allow users stay on top of their orders and quantities while managing  inventory in real-time
  • It saves time by running your business on-the go with your mobile device
  • Multi-currency support which helps businesses expand their operations into new countries
  • Send invoices, record transactions and adjust reports in different currencies and assign currencies to different customers
  • QuickBooks also has a feature called the cash flow planner which helps users see how their business is doing.

Pros

  • The cash flow planner is a great feature that helps small business owners keep track of their business’ financial standing
  • QuickBooks offers multi-currency support, which is important for businesses with customers or suppliers in different countries.

Cons

  • QuickBooks can be expensive, especially if you need to purchase additional features
  • The software can be complex and difficult to use for some users.

Pricing

QuickBooks offers a 30-days free trial and three payment plans with 70% off for 3 months.

  • Simple Start: $17/mo, save 70% for 3 months and pay $5.10/mo. $183.60/yr, save 70% for 3 months and pay $152.39/yr
  • Essentials: $26, save 70% for 3 months and pay $7.80/mo. $280.80/yr, save 70% for 3 months and pay $233.06/yr
  • Plus: $36/mo, save 70% for 3 months and pay $10.80/mo. $388.80/yr, save 70% for 3 months and pay $322.70/yr

ADP

Best Payroll Software for Complex Businesses

ADP is the perfect choice for businesses with complex payroll needs. It’s fast, accurate, and easy to use, and it offers a wide range of features that can meet even the most demanding requirements.

The compliance features are top-notch, and the integrations with other software make it a breeze to keep your payroll processes running smoothly. With ADP, you can rest assured that your payroll and  processes will be handled quickly and efficiently, saving you time and money.

Features

  • It offers superior payroll tech to keep your business compliant and your employees paid on time
  • It offers everything you need in a modern, easy to use, all-in-one platform
  • It has an unmatched global experience in payroll and compliance which helps for comprehensive reporting
  • It provides expert service and support to help businesses get the most out of their payroll software.
  • From simple tools to full-service outsourcing, which makes it easy to pay your employees on time and comply with tax regulations.

Pros

  • ADP offers small businesses a comprehensive payroll solution
  • Their platform is global, so businesses can easily expand their operations into new countries
  • ADP offers expert service and support to ensure your payroll functions run smoothly.

Cons

  • ADP is expensive
  • ADP can be difficult to use for smaller businesses
  • ADP has a large learning curve.

Pricing

Talk to sales to get custom quote

Patriot

Best Value Payroll Software for Money

When it comes to finding the best value for your money, Patriot Payroll is the obvious choice. This software provides free expert support and free payroll setup, it’s easy to get started with Patriot.

In addition, payroll software is loaded with features like unlimited payrolls, multiple locations, and customizable hours, money, and deductions. And if you need help along the way, our USA-based support team is there to help.

Features

  • Save time and money with free expert support
  • It offers free 2-day direct deposit for qualifying customers to get your employees paid quickly
  • It supports free workers’ comp integration to help keep your business compliant with free workers
  • It offers customizable hours, money, deductions to fit your business
  • It allows file taxes confidently knowing that all information is correct.

Pros

  • Easily set up your payroll with no fees
  • Run payroll from multiple locations
  • Let employees access their information securely online with the employee portal
  • Pay unlimited payrolls at any frequency you need.

Cons

  • The customer support is not very good and often takes a long time to respond
  • It can be difficult to set up your payroll with Patriot, and the instructions are not always clear
  • You have to pay for workers’ comp integration if you want to use it with Patriot.

Pricing

Patriot offers a free trial with two payment plans

  • Basic payroll: $17/month + $4 per employee/contractor
  • Full service payroll: $37/month + $4 per employee/contractor

Xero

Best Payroll Software for Medium-sized Businesses

Xero is a great option for businesses of all sizes, but it’s particularly well suited for medium-sized businesses. Xero makes it easy to send invoices, track expenses, and pay bills. You can also use

the software to manage your fixed assets and accept payments online.

Additionally, Xero connects to many different banks so you can easily import your transactions into the software.

Features

  • Send invoices: easy to create and send professional invoices quickly
  • Track projects: It helps to get a complete view of your project’s financials, including job costs and profitability
  • Bank reconciliation: keep your finances up to date by matching transactions from your bank account
  • Manage Xero contacts: see all the important sales and payment information for customers and suppliers in one place
  • Capture data: automatically import documents and key data into Xero without any manual entry required.

Pros

  • Quote and invoice for jobs, track time and costs, and monitor project profitability and expenses using Xero.
  • Do business from anywhere, on any device
  • Access your data and Xero tools easily from anywhere
  • Keep employee pay records online, process pay runs, and easily reconcile salary and wage payments.

Cons

  • Xero is not always accurate
  • It can be time consuming
  • The software is not good for businesses with a lot of employees.

Pricing

It offers a free trial and three payment plans with different customizable features

  • Starter: Starting at $22 per month
  • Standard: Starting at about $35 per month
  • Premium: Starting at about $47 per month

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best HR and Payroll Software

Which Software Is Best for Payroll?

The best payroll software depends on your specific needs and requirements. However, we recommend considering QuickBooks, Gusto, and OnPay as they are user-friendly, flexible, and offer a wide range of features.

Can I Do My Own Payroll for My Small Business?

Small businesses can do their own payroll using a variety of software programs, such as Xero, Gusto, and OnPay.
However, it’s important to note that these programs require some knowledge of accounting and payroll procedures in order to be used effectively. For businesses that don’t want to manage their own payroll, there are also a number of third-party providers who can assist with this process.

How Do Small Businesses Start Payroll?

Small businesses can start payroll by registering with the IRS for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), setting up a bank account for their business, and choosing a payroll provider. They will also need to decide how often they want to pay their employees – usually either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Finally, small businesses will need to gather the relevant employee information – such as Social Security numbers, addresses, and wage information – in order to create and submit their first payroll.

Does Quickbooks Offer Payroll?

Yes, QuickBooks offers payroll services for businesses of all sizes. The software is easy to use and includes a number of features that can help businesses manage their payroll processes more effectively.

Final Thoughts

Small businesses need to take advantage of modern technology in order to remain competitive and payroll software is a great way to do that. The best payroll software can automate many complex processes, saving business owners time and money.

If you’re looking for the payroll Software for your small business, we recommend checking out QuickBooks because it’s the most popular payroll software. Gusto has great features and flexibility and ADP is suitable for complex businesses. These programs are all easy to use and offer a variety of features that can help businesses manage their payroll more effectively.

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